June 7, 2017

I have to begin this weeks’ article by bragging about the wonderful performance of the musical “The Swinging Piper”, by a cast of Willard 5th graders and a handful of their younger siblings. Under the direction of retired 5th grade Thoreau teacher, Bob Lemaire, the play (a version of The Pied Piper) was an absolute hit with parents and the entire Willard School student body! The cast performed the play on three different occasions. There was an evening performance for parents and family members last week and two performances were held on Tuesday morning so that all classes could attend. The caliber of the acting and the singing was outstanding. The costumes, the scenery, and the make-up all contributed to a great result – a children’s play of professional quality! In addition to the cast members, I would like to recognize the stage technicians and program designers. Kudos to all participants! I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to Bob Lemaire and Roseanne Swain, the Thoreau music teacher for her piano accompaniment. I am very grateful to Mr. Lemaire for sharing his gift for directing with our students.

Last Sunday, Willard families gathered to enjoy the Annual Willard Carnival. I would like to offer my thanks to the Carnival Co-Chairs Mary Anne Balfour and Heather Martino and to the many Committee Chairs who provided assistance. It is important to realize that the Carnival is a massive undertaking. It requires months of preparation and hundreds of collective volunteer hours. The familiar adage – It takes a village – comes to mind in describing the level of involvement that is required for this event. It is the major fundraiser for the PTG and it is without a doubt, the favorite PTG activity for most students. In addition to the many parent volunteers who helped out at the Carnival, I want to offer special thanks to Susan Halter, Liz Merrill and Charlyn Bethel for volunteering their time at the Carnival Ticket Booth on Sunday.

On Tuesday, all parents should have received an email from me (Blackboard Connect), which contained information about a SAC election and a ballot to select three new parents for the Willard School Advisory Council. Parents may cast their votes by Friday, June 9th at noon. If you have not voted yet, I encourage you to do so.

Tuesday was a special day for the staff at Willard. The PTG Staff Appreciation Committee treated the staff to the annual end-of-year staff luncheon. The menu included yummy pulled pork/chicken/beef, salads, cole slaw, and an unbelievable assortment of sweet treats. This committee, led by Tracey Doull, Adriana Nunez, and Jennifer Desrochers goes “all out” providing special Staff Appreciation Luncheon events throughout the school year. On behalf of the entire staff, I want to thank Tracey, Adriana, and Jen for their dedication and kindness and for a wonderful luncheon!

The Concord Museum, in collaboration with the Concord Public Schools/Concord-Carlisle High School and the community at-large, has joined together to prepare for the 200th anniversary of the birth of Henry David Thoreau. The project, entitled Be Thoreau, will run through the end of September. Interested students and community members are invited to learn more about this project by accessing the following site. http://www.concordps.org/be-thoreau.

As you prepare to read this edition of the Willard Weekly only six school days remain in the school year! Please mark your calendars for the following special events.

The PTG is hosting a new version of 5th Grade Fun Day this year. Fifth grade students, their teachers, a few chaperones, and the principal will travel to the Thoreau Club for supervised swimming and outdoor games on June 12th from 12:00 – 3:00 PM. The event had been scheduled for June 5th, but rain forced the postponement of this event. Thank you to the Committee Co-Chairs: Tina Labadini, Beth Athanasoulas, and Lynn Creamer.

The 5th Grade Celebration is scheduled for Thursday, June 15th at 10:30 AM in the Willard Auditorium. This event marks the end of the elementary school experience for our students. Grade 5 parents are invited to attend. Please mark your calendars. In keeping with Willard tradition, all students and staff will cheer our 5th graders at dismissal on June 16th when 5th graders take their last stroll out of the building at dismissal.

Finally, in keeping with a long-standing Willard tradition, all students and staff will gather at dismissal on Friday, June 16th to applaud for our 5th graders as they make their way out of the building for the last time as Willard students. This is a bittersweet event. Students will exit out the back of the building and take the long walk along the perimeter of the building adjacent to the upper fields. Parents are invited to come and join us on the periphery. Dismissal is at 12:30 PM.

As always, thank you for all you do for Willard School.